The aircraft began to lose altitude, quickly dropping below 2,000 feet above ground level. Since he had a downward ejection seat, and was descending rapidly, Kincheloe apparently felt he had to invert the aircraft to bail out. The pilot made a final radio call to the base: "Hello, Edwards. Mayday, Seven-Seventy-Two. Bailing out."
Kincheloe rolled the aircraft, pulled the hatch jettison handle, and then pulled the seat jettison handle. By this time the F-104 had lost a frightful amount of altitude. Since the seat was designed to fall out using gravity an inverted ejection was not recommended. The seat slid out slowly and skated along the fuselage after separation from the airframe. Kincheloe separated from the seat less than 500 feet above the ground. His parachute deployed at extremely low altitude, and he was killed on impact. The aircraft struck the ground southeast of Rosamond Dry Lake and was completely destroyed.